Belles at Vienna Opera Ball up for a new ball game

Members of the opening committee dancing after the opening ceremony of the traditional Vienna Opera Ball in Austria on Feb 28, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Debutantes (clockwise from top left) fuelling up with bananas, putting on final make-up touches, adjusting outfits and having their photos taken backstage before the opening ceremony of the Vienna Opera Ball on Feb 28, 2019. PHOTOS: EPA-EFE
Members of the opening committee lining up during the opening ceremony of the Opera Ball. PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers of the State Opera Ballet performing during the opening ceremony at the State Opera. PHOTO: AFP
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VIENNA - "It's the biggest party in Europe and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Ms Viola Li, 21, one of the debutantes at this year's Vienna Opera Ball.

Like other Generation-Z debutantes, she is about to step out in three-quarter time to Carl Michael Ziehrer's Facherpolonaise, a standard score to mark the debutantes' stage entry at the Wiener Staatsoper or Vienna State Opera House.

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